The facts, trends, and numbers are evident. The subscription industry is growing day by day. Whether you’re looking for ways to discover new organic snacks, or spoil your pet, or get a clean shave, subscription boxes are disrupting nearly every consumer product category and are a major contributor to shifting the e-commerce landscape.
- The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% percent a year over the past five years, with the largest retailers generating more than $2.6B in sales in 2016, up from $57.0M in 2011.
- E-commerce subscribers are most likely to be 25 to 44 years old, to have incomes from $50,000 to $100,000, and live in urban environments in the Northeastern U.S.
- 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a recurring basis, frequently through monthly boxes.
- Amazon Subscribe & Save, Dollar Shave Club, Ipsy, Blue Apron and Birchbox are the five most popular subscription sites in 2018.
These and many other insights are from an in-depth survey McKinsey & Company completed to better understand the dynamics of the subscription e-commerce market and its major trends. The results of the survey, Thinking inside the subscription box: New research on e-commerce consumers is a fascinating glimpse into the current state of the subscription economy.
The latest industry to take hold of this curious trend, the automotive community. Traditionally, options for vehicle ownership were either lease or own. But in a growing number of metropolitan markets there is a third option emerging: car subscriptions.
Marketing and positioning of these car subscription options from brands such as Ford, Porsche, Cadillac, and now Volvo appear to be targeting urban living tech-savvy Millennials who are non-committal towards car ownership, live and enjoy a subscription model lifestyle (Netflix, Blue Apron, Dollar Shave Club) and are willing to pay for the trade-offs of flexibility and options.
For example, the Porsche Passport lets you choose among eight car models (including the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman S) for $2,000 per month or choose from 22 different Porsche models for a $3,000 subscription. With Porsche Passport, you can switch cars as often as you choose. Cadillac’s subscription service, which comes in at $1,800 per month, lets you swap between cars as often as 18 times per year.
It is still too early to determine adoption of this latest subscription fad. Auto makers have a major hurdle regarding availability as they look to move beyond the main metro markets. It will be one of many trends in the automotive industry to keep an eye on in 2018 and beyond.
Strategic tracking of brand health and perceptions over time helps companies understand which marketing initiatives are successful and where future efforts may be focused to improve market positioning.
With 2018 on the horizon, many companies and brands take this time of year to consider their strategic tracking initiatives. Some may be initiating a brand health and tracking research study for the first time – establishing benchmarks and getting the initial brand pulse. Others are looking at a dinosaur tracker and ways to make it more respondent-friendly, mobile-optimized, and strategic.
At W5, we often hear clients ask “How can I make my brand tracker strategic and more insightful wave-over-wave?” We get the question so often in fact, it was featured in the December Quirk’s Ask the Expert series.
We understand as times change, so do the methods and best practices of strategically tracking brands, which is why we evolved our white paper on the subject, W5 on Strategic Tracking. Learn about our approach, research objectives tracking can answer, considerations for mobile-optimized trackers, how to leverage qualitative research, and various reporting strategies.
Whether you are looking to launch a new tracking initiative in 2018, or discuss ways to better leverage your current brand tracking research, we encourage you to reach out to W5. We are keenly aware of the importance of consistency and planning to bridge the transition between tracking methodologies and partners, and have successfully transitioned tracking surveys for several clients―each presenting unique challenges and opportunities.